To say that the town of West has had a rough time is pretty much the understatement of the year. Since a fertilizer plant exploded, killing 15 people and leaving half the town looking like it had been wiped out by a nuclear bomb, the people of West have been struggling to rebuild and move on from th ... More >>
Investigators are nowhere near declaring what caused the explosion of the fertilizer factory in West April 17. Other investigators, however, have come to their own conclusions, or raised their own questions. Their own nutty, farcical, inane conclusions and questions. They are the West Truthers on ... More >>
Spammers don't care about your political causes or your beliefs. They prey on the innocent and the naive, which is why a recent spate of e-mails I've received using conspiracy theory scare tactics does not surprise me in the least. I am not a "prepper," nor do I fear the end of the world or being j ... More >>
Hurricane Ike can seem like a lifetime ago, but the feds are still doling out the cash to deal with the devastation along the Galveston waterfront. Some of that devastation involved the Elissa, the historic tall ship that has long been giving island visitors a taste of Galveston's past in the age o ... More >>
Desecrating the name of Adolf, a man named Patrick Adolf Prendergast Jr. has been convicted of ripping off FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the U.S. Attorney's Office has announced. And his parents had such high hopes for him when they gave him his middle name. Prendergast, 54, was convicted of ... More >>
A nationwide test of Emergency Alert System is set for today at 1 p.m. Houston time, when a half-minute message will air on all television and radio stations. The purpose is to test out the preparedness of the system to break into radio and TV channels to give instructions and news in the eve ... More >>
Hopefully you won't be dealing with thisHere in Houston, we generally think about wildfire danger as often as we do earthquakes, which is to say never at all. But the recent fire in George Bush Park shows that the historic drought has made a lot more people vulnerable to a wildfire. So what ... More >>
How far did cardinal go in tearing down Ike-ravaged church?
Go thou and defraudeth FEMA....It was almost two years ago that we wrote about the Fishers of Men scandal, a church in southwest Houston whose pastor and associates were charged with various financial shenanigans.It sparked a comment war between defenders and accusers that lasted so long and got ... More >>
Some blog items never die.Almost a year ago we wrote about the fraud charges filed against officials of the Fishers of Men Worship Center in Houston. To this day, barely a week goes by without someone throwing up another comment on the case, either defending the officials or saying they got what ... More >>
This summer we told you about two locals who had not only been accused of defrauding the federal government, but something far, far more powerful: Oprah Winfrey.Sisters Darlene McGruder Poole and Lashone McGruder Victor were charged in August with filing false information to FEMA in order to get ... More >>
It's one thing to defraud FEMA in the wake of a hurricane. It's another to mess with Oprah.That's the sad, heavy lesson learned by four people named in indictments unsealed this morning by the U.S. Attorney's office. They're charged with, as the feds put it, "wrongfully obtaining rental assistanc ... More >>
Panic, FEMA, empty shelves here's the only Hurricane Guide you'll need this year.
Wherever there's a hurricane, ma, I'll be there...Wherever a FEMA official's handing out a form to fill, I'll be the person scamming them...Wherever -- Well, we don't think the Tom Joad speech at the end of The Grapes of Wrath goes exactly like that, but it would if Phyllis Ann Taylor was saying it. ... More >>
Photo by Katharine ShilcuttWe promised, and we are Promise Keepers! (of a sort).Here's the slideshow of the tea-party protest at Jones Plaza yesterday. Check to see if you made the cut. We are not responsible, however, if the fact that your photo is posted here puts you on a Department of Homeland S ... More >>
It's a milestone of sorts: The last Ike recovery center still operating will close its doors Friday.At one time 130 such centers were open, but now the only one left is at the Galveston Island Community Center on Broadway. It's served 28,000 visitors, FEMA says."The recovery centers provided much-ne ... More >>
Some may never be found.
We've already noted the five biggest local deaths in 2008; now it's time to look at the five deaths that leave the smallest amounts of sympathy or significance.5. The Playoff Chances of the Texans and Astros. Insignificant because really, did anyone expect anything different? The teams blew when the ... More >>
Shortly after Hurricane Ike, San Leon resident Tommy Dixon praised the spirit of his hometown and its will to rebuild by saying "All we need now are FEMA trailers and mosquito repellent."We don't know about the mosquito repellent, but they are getting the FEMA trailers. Two hundred of them are slate ... More >>
Hardly Knew Ye
Houston doesn't roll over for Ike
KTRH's shouter has a hissy fit
Check cashers and furniture rental companies take a big chunk out of post-hurricane FEMA checks
Tropical Storm Allison destroyed houses that never quite got fixed, thanks to bureaucratic bungling and cheaters
A group of unsupervised mental patients running from Katrina made it from New Orleans to Houston. Victor Fruge led the way.
It sounds so simple: FEMA purchasing homes flooded by Tropical Storm Allison. Then come the bureaucratic blizzards and personal angst over giving up and getting out.
The City of Houston requires developers in the floodplain to elevate and mitigate -- build houses on higher ground and dig detention ponds for runoff. Except, not always.
Clear Creek is on the rise, and local flood-protection methods have been helpless against it. Soggy residents, tired of being perpetual victims, are ready for a fight.
Houston finally moves on a flood program that could have saved residents millions